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Direct Express Cards

What is the Direct Express card?

The Direct Express card is a debit card you can use to access your benefits. And you don't need a bank account.

With the Direct Express card program, your federal benefit payment will be deposited directly into your card account. Your monthly benefits will be available on your payment day - on time, every time. You can use the card to make purchases, pay bills or get cash at thousands of locations.

And most transactions are free.

The Direct Express card is both safer and more convenient than paper checks. Any receiving Social Security or Supplemental Security Income payments can enroll. No more waiting for the mail or worrying about lost or stolen checks.

Why should I sign up for electronic payments?

  • Safety. There is no risk of lost or stolen checks. When reported promptly, your money is protected, even if your Direct Express card is lost or stolen.

  • Ease. Your money is automatically posted to your financial account or to your Direct Express card account on your payment day each month. You won't have to wait for the mail to arrive.

  • Convenience. No need to make a trip to cash or deposit a check. With Direct Express, make purchases anywhere debit MasterCard is accepted. Use your card to get cash at retail locations, banks and ATMs throughout the country.

How do I use the Direct Express card?

The Direct Express card is simple and easy to use. You can use it to:

  • Make purchases. Present your card when paying at any location that accepts MasterCard debit cards. The money is automatically deducted from your account.

  • Get cash. Get cash at ATMs or from bank or credit union tellers. Or, get cash back with purchases at many retail locations.

How secure is the Direct Express card?

The Direct Express card offers a number of benefits that make it safer and more secure than checks:

  • Your account is protected by your Personal Identification Number (PIN);

  • Your card account has federal consumer protection and your funds are FDIC-insured; and

  • If your card is lost stolen, it will be replaced.

Can I use the Direct Express card without any fees?

Yes, it is possible to use your card for free. There is no sign-up fee and no monthly account fee. Many other services are provided free of charge, including:

  • Purchases at retail locations, cash back with purchases, or cash withdrawals through bank or credit union tellers;

  • One ATM cash withdrawal for each deposit posted to your account each month when using a Direct Express card network ATm;

  • Optional notification of deposits to your debit card by phone, E-mail or text message;

  • Optional low balance alert when your account balance falls below a certain level; and

  • Access to the toll-free customer service number or website 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

How do I sign up for electronic payments?

It's quick and easy to sign up to receive benefits electronically. Call Treasury Electronic Payment Solution Contact Center at 1-800-333-1795. Sign up online at www.GoDirect.org. Also, Social Security can help you sign up.

Direct Express is a registered service mark of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Financial Management Service.

Contact your local Social Security Administration Office for all the latest updates on benefits and filing requirements.

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